In Australia, knowingly opening mail not addressed to you is a Commonwealth offence.
So, you would think the same privacy protections were in place in the online environment.
Revelations published by The New York Times has put Facebook back in the spotlight for allegedly giving extraordinary access to user’s personal data to some of the 150+ companies it has partnered with such as Netflix and Spotify.
Shares of Facebook Inc. recorded their largest single-day percentage drop since July in the wake of these new revelations, according to Reuters.
Facebook’s shares dropped 7.25 per cent, taking losses for the year to about 24 per cent.
This is the latest blow to the diminishing levels of trust users have for the social media giant.
In 2015, the first reports of Cambridge Analytica harvesting Facebook user’s data for political purposes surfaced, which exploded into a US Congressional Hearing about the company’s privacy policies in April 2018.
“Keeping people safe, will always be more important than maximising our profits,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told European Leaders in May 2018.
Personal data is one of the most valuable commodities in the digital era, and few companies have more in stock than Facebook.
According to the NYT, spokespersons for both Netflix and Spotify said they were unaware of the broad powers that Facebook had granted them, referring to their ability to read, write and delete personal messages.
A spokesperson for Netflix told the newspaper that it only used the access to allow users to directly recommend movies and shows to their friends.
Netflix never asked for, or accessed, anyone’s private messages. We’re not the type to slide into your DMs.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 19, 2018
Amazon, Yahoo and Microsoft are also key companies embroiled in the revelations of privacy invasion.
Watch the video above for more on the latest Facebook scandal.